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Our unique and inclusive culture is defined by our people. Take a look at their experiences to understand how they've helped shape the way we work and interact with each other.

Diverse Talent Accelerator Programme

January 09, 2024

Diverse Talent Accelerator Programme

Helen and Tony share Auto Trader's journey to creating a talent programme which aims to accelerate talent and create a pipeline of diverse future leaders.

Our diversity and inclusion journey began around ten years ago when we transitioned from a print to a digital business, and the balance of women to men in the organisation decreased significantly.

Over the years, we have been working hard to recruit more under-represented groups into the organisation and foster an inclusive environment for all our diverse talent to thrive and grow their career here truly.

Although we see a diverse group of people join us in their early careers, we, like many other companies, face a similar story where our leadership group isn’t as representative as we would like it to be.

We understand the importance of progression to our employees and recognise that accelerating the progression of talented, under-represented groups will strengthen our pipeline of future leaders across Auto Trader. Employee surveys also showed us that career development was an area we needed to focus on, too.

Given all these factors, we felt it vital to create a talent development programme to help develop those with high potential from under-represented communities. And that’s why we created the Diverse Talent Accelerator Programme (DTA) in 2020.

What is the DTA?

The DTA is a 12-month programme open to colleagues not currently participating in an early careers programme or a senior leadership position.

The programme offers a mixture of face-to-face modules, experiential learning, networking, coaching and sponsorship. Modules include The Confident and Empowered Leader, Your Employee Voice and Stepping into Leadership. All colleagues are offered a workplace coach to support them with specific elements of their journey and, finally, a sponsor (a senior leadership team member) to provide them with new opportunities.

What’s the impact?

Since the inception of the DTA three years ago, we have seen some fantastic stories from those who have been on the programme. As previously mentioned, the programme aims to create a pipeline of diverse future leaders. However, we are pleased to share that 60% of our colleagues who took part in the DTA during the first two years have received a promotion/ change of role, and 71% of those who took part in its first year have since seen a promotion/ change of role. When we look at the retention of those who have been on the programme, 93% of people who have been on the DTA are still in the business. This compares to 76.5%, which is the overall retention across the organisation over the same period (since April 21).

Whilst we are pleased with our progress, we recognise that we have a long way to go to achieve a representative workforce of the communities we operate in across all levels of the business, including leadership. However, we will continue taking action, measuring impact, and doing more.

Over the coming months, we will be spotlighting different people from across the business who have taken part in DTA, sharing their personal experiences on the programme and careers here at Auto Trader.

Stay tuned!